Many of my white washcloths have a dirt stain in the center (mostly from cleaning my kids' dirty hands/feet at bedtime on those nights they don't get baths. I only use washcloths once before laundering and use lots of bleach, tried RIT whitener (definitely whitened but dirt stains remained). Aside from turning them into rags and starting with new white ones (or dying them a darker color), any tips on whitening? It's not fresh dirt, it's more of a build up.
Tanya, check out this ThriftyFun page "Using Borax instead of Bleach" and you'll get all kinds of whitening tips.
Try All Fabric Bleach. A friend gave me some and it removed all the yucky baby barf stains. I was looking for an organic or biodegradable alternative to borax. Put about a 2 tsp in a bucket of hot water and let sit for a couple days. Won't bleach colors either. My son was eating pomegranates in a light blue polo shirt, yikes! Blue as new and no signs of fruit stains.
My mother in law is the laundry queen. She suggest DG Powder Bleach for all whites. It is in an orange box and is the Dollar General store brand, hence the "DG". Good luck!
Tanya, a common misconception about white cloth is that it is woven from white cotton whereas it is usually made from greige goods and dyed white. Therefore, when you use bleach on it, it doesn't whiten your laundry, but removes the dye leaving a greyish color behind.